Government Urged To Invest More In Indigenous Eye Health

Eye Doctor - Kevin Harber - Flickr

Experts in Indigenous eye health are calling for the Government to invest an extra $70 million to close the gap in eye health within the next five years.

It comes as experts gather in Alice Springs for the Close The Gap For Vision By 2020 conference which is co-hosted by the University of Melbourne’s Indigenous Eye Health and the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory.

This year’s theme is ‘Strengthen & Sustain’ and will look at advances in Indigenous peoples eye health as well as opportunities and challenges for the future.

Head of Indigenous Eye Health at the University of Melbourne, Professor Hugh Taylor says there has been progress made due to an increase in outreach services.

 

While that is good news, Professor Taylor says an increase in services is still needed.

 

Professor Taylor suggests the uncertainty around remote housing in the Northern Territory will hinder efforts to close the gap in eye health.

Remote housing in the Territory’s Indigenous communities has been in the spotlight in recent times amid a feud between the Commonwealth and the Gunner Government over a funding deal to improve dwellings in communities.

On Monday, Chief Minister Michael Gunner passed the leases for 44 of the Territory’s remote communities back to the commonwealth.

Head of Indigenous Eye Health at the University of Melbourne, Professor Hugh Taylor says adequate living standards, including a working bathroom is important in the fight against preventable vision complications.

(AUDIO: ABC)

(IMAGE: Kevin Harber, Flickr)